by Zachary Ryan
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Tragedy comes in all forms, and you never know how you’ll deal with it. Four friends have all dealt with their fair share of struggles. Dillion, an aspiring writer with writers block because of his brothers sudden death, Jesse the emotional stunted drink thanks to his boyfriend’s suicide, Ivan the abused victim just looking for a place to call home, and Leo the stubborn romantic trying to get his friends to open up, while keeping his issues close to his chest.
With these four friends, they avoid all their elephants in the room like a death card agreement between Dillion and Jesse, Ivan completely hoping his abusive lover with change or even Leo focusing on his friends problems instead of his own. Can these four friends learn to embrace and accept their own tragedy or will they be stuck in the past?
Thirst Trap is a humorous coming of age novel dealing with sexuality, tragedy,substance abuse, and the most beautiful insane friendships.
We took a couple more shots before heading to another bar to end our night. Jesse and Leo were outside smoking when I saw that Ivan was texting Jay. “Is everything okay?” I asked. Ivan looked up and smiled. “Yeah. Jay just wanted to tell me to have a good night, and he put some water and aspirin out for me for my hangover in the morning.” I was taken aback by that comment. I figured Jay would want him home asap. “So, you guys are good?” “I think we’re finally on the same page. I see Jesse is himself again, and I think I saw a smile come out on Leo’s face,” he said. “Maybe we’ve figured it all out. We’ve gotten through the rough parts of our lives,” I said. We were all starting to place the groundwork for our future. We might have had some bumps, but it was smooth sailing from here. Jesse and Leo came back in from outside. We continued to have a couple more shots before the bar closed up. We stumbled outside and I wanted nothing more than to go to the beach. We were only a couple blocks from it. “Let’s go to the beach.” “Bitch, it’s five in the morning. I want to go to sleep and a get a slice of pizza,” Leo said. I could see the sun was already coming up. “Come on. It’s my birthday. Let’s go,” I said. I grabbed Leo’s hand and started pulling him toward the beach. “If I wake up with sand everywhere, you’re coming over to clean the shit up, hooker,” Leo said. We got to the beach and took a seat in the sand. It was an early spring morning. We were chilly, but we started to see the sunrise from its slumber. We watched as the colors dance across the sky, and it was the birth of a new day, a new page, and a new chapter. We were turning our pages to something hopeful. We all looked at that sunset trying to find solace in our lives. We were drunks, bitches, fuck ups, and completely lost with ourselves, but right then, I had never felt more like I belonged in that moment with these three beautiful souls.
I hoped that Jay was asleep when I stumbled into the apartment. I hadn’t expected to drink that much wine with Leo. I turned the corner, and Jay was on the couch reading a book. He looked cute with his glasses on. He looked at me with anger in his eyes. He stood up, and was taller than me. I was more muscular than him, but he was toned. I knew dating someone older than me would have disadvantages. He had just gotten back from vacation with his parents, so his skin was darker, and I noticed his gray hair poking out of his dark hair, more. “You’re getting home late,” he said, walking over to me. He grabbed me by the arm and crushed his lips with mine. “I can taste the wine on your lips,” he added, when he broke the kiss. He walked away from me. “Sorry,” I said. “I don’t see what the big issue is.” Jay picked up his book, before turning back to me. “Because, you shouldn’t be coming home well past midnight hammered.” “I’m an adult.” “And I pay for everything in this god damn household. You want to go off and become a personal trainer.” I looked down because I knew Jay was in one of his moods. I knew he didn’t like me being out at all hours of the night. He thought I would be out sleeping with other people, and I hated that he couldn’t trust me. “You knew I was with my friends.” “The slut, the drunk, the judgmental bitch, and then there’s you-- the victim. Yeah, some friends you have.” “You liked them when we first started dating,” I argued. Jay and I had been dating for a little over two years now. I’ve known Jesse and Leo for several years now, while Dillon had come into the group last year. “When I met them, they weren’t such fucking messes. Jesse, I actually enjoyed the most because of his boyfriend.”
“But he’s gone now,” I said. “Jesse is still trying to process the pain. You can’t hate him for that,” I argued. I wanted to defend my friends. “You don’t have to be an ass about it.” Jay stormed toward me. He slammed me against the wall. I tried to move, but he was using all of his strength to hold me down. “I have no problem with grief. We’ve all had our fair share of it. I was there to help Jesse out when Ian died.” “Just because you flipped the bill for the dinner after the funeral, doesn’t mean you helped him out.” “I don’t do well with drunk people.” I looked at him. Jay’s father was an alcoholic and a violent man. I understand why he was against drinking, but it shouldn’t have hindered his relationship with my friends. “My friends aren’t drunks.” “I think it’s because you guys became friends with Dillon. You guys might be in your early twenties, but he still has an innocence in him. You’re trying to find your youth through him, but you should be getting your shit together,” he said.
The kiss led to the clothes being taken off, which led to us fucking our brains out on the kitchen counter. We hadn’t been that intimate in a long time. I grabbed my shirt, and I knew that this moment we had didn’t change what was going on. “Will, I know you still love me, but why are you on those apps?” He grabbed his shirt and put it on also. He sighed heavily. “I feel like we have no excitement in our lives,” he said. “I look at our friends and they’re out there living their lives. We’re at home reading books, cooking dinner, giving each other half-ass blowjobs.” “I can make sure to put all my effort in my next blow job, if you want,” I said. “I don’t want to miss out on our life.” “You know, most people would be lucky to have what we have,” I said. “You think that I don’t know that? It’s all a bunch of fucking emotions coursing through my mind and heart right now. I want to stay with you, but I want out sometimes,” he said. “I’m not having an open relationship,” I said. I knew that people did it, and I respect that for them. I didn’t have the confidence or trust in my partner to go out there and sleep around. “I don’t think either of us could do one of those types of relationships, anyway.”
Zachary Ryan grew up in a black-and-white box in Maryland, before moving to Chicago to start a new life. There, he found that he was accepted for his misfit status—and learned that it’s perfectly normal to spend your twenties feeling lost and confused.
After a disastrous sexual encounter, Ryan stumbled on a group of true friends, or “soul cluster,” that he connected with. Through his writing, he hopes to help other broken souls out there find comfort amid the chaos.
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